Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. - Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Golden Age

With my birthday taking place tomorrow I am feeling nothing but happiness. Most people dread such events, especially after they cross over into their thirties.

I feel I have been lied to and misled to believe that after thirty the so-called "party" is over. Well, I've never been much into parties, and if anything, my twenties were anything but a party. It was an extension of being a teenager, in my mind, and I did not enjoy either time as much as I probably should have, but I sure am enjoying being in my thirties. Turning thirty felt great, but turning thirty-one feels even better, because I've grown more in the last year than I ever did over the course of my twenties.

I feel more myself than I ever have, and the best part is I did it solo, without anybody clouding my judgment, or moulding me into someone I am not. That is the best birthday gift I could've ever asked for: myself, all figured out and ready to take on whatever comes my way. If life is a series of parties, then I'd say this party is the one where I would walk right in and have a blast without any strings attached.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Advice for the passive aggressive at heart...

I have a bit of advice for anyone reading this who happens to have a passive aggressive streak in them and is perhaps looking for a self-improvement type of new year resolution: Get rid of that streak. Passive aggressiveness is one of the ugliest ways of dealing with a situation. It alienates those you are using such tactics with and it also puts you under the category of coward in my book.

I am bringing this up now, because I am dealing with a passive aggressive person who is nice to my face, but whenever has a chance to point out any faults that I and all things and people associated with me possess, takes it and rides it to the end with the thinly-veiled pretense of joking. I laugh it off, but it's an awkward, forced and tense laugh that should alert the person that something is wrong. Very rarely are such people able to distinguish such a laugh from a genuine one, however. Due to this (for lack of a better term) denseness on the part of those who just don't get the reason behind the weird laugh, I along with other people like me end up looking like punching bags, door mats people wipe their feet on whenever they get a chance without impunity.

This brings me to the point that just because I don't fire back right away, doesn't mean I'm not upset, or that I'm stupid... or that I like serving as a stress reliever. You see, aside from me being a rather pacifist person who wants to live and let live, I am also of the belief that to respond to passive aggressiveness, or any other manner disagreeable to one's tastes, is to lower oneself. I believe it was Oscar Wilde who when he was faced with a situation where someone was basically trying to mess with him in a way beneath him, said: "I refuse to enter a battle of wits with an unarmed man." This statement doesn't just cover wit.

Other than being a pacifist, there is another P-word I would use to describe myself: proud. Many people see pride as a negative thing. Sometimes they even associate it with narrow-mindedness, as do I when the situation calls for such a conclusion. The pride I'm talking about, however, is not one that entails pride of material or out-of-control things like skin color and nationality and over-the-top patriotism. The pride I'm talking about is the kind that involves keeping one's dignity intact, something that everyone should work hard to preserve, even if it means picking your battles when each battle that comes your way is worthy of a fight in your mind. We don't have control over what we are, but we certainly have control over who we are, and I choose to be someone with unwavering dignity, hence, my choice to let those who use tactics beneath me do what they want.

Also, keep in mind that passive aggressiveness fixes nothing. If you have a problem with someone or something, just say it, or just stay away from the person or situation that causes these passive aggressive feelings to bubble up and surface. All you do with an attitude like that is work hard to maybe, just maybe be clever enough to line your true, not-so-funny feelings with wit, a rare commodity, because you're too afraid to face up to whatever it is you need to face up to. Relax your nerves and save yourself a headache and an awkward situation by just letting it all out in the open. I guarantee you will feel better and gain more for your benefit to fix whatever is broken.

Good luck.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hello, again.

I'm not sure what the frequency of me updating this old blog is anymore, but it's certainly not up to par with what a true blogger ought to have it as. I just know that I am one of those writers who only write and share when there is something worth writing and sharing. I like it that way.

So, what is it that I find worth writing and sharing today in the blogosphere?

My interests of late are scattered and include the usual activities of writing and reading, but I have acquired rather new interests that I think are worth sharing.

Knitting has become a huge part of my me time. I like to just sit there with my IPod on shuffle and just knit away, letting my mind wander until I have to look at the pattern again. The best part is that I'm making things that I know will be used by others, I'm learning new techniques and making things I never thought I'd make, and I am giving my mind a very good activity to occupy its free time with.

I mentioned before, I think, that I am also learning to crochet. I have improved somewhat, but I have yet to make anything, not even a scarf. When knitting gets too complicated, and it does these days considering the things I'm making, I take a break and bring out my crochet hook and practice single, double and triple crochets. It's relaxing and I imagine that one day I will be crocheting as good as I knit, but that is a way's away and I am taking my time with it and just having fun with it.

Sewing is also something I've picked up lately. I have managed to make a lovely skirt, which I've worn twice already, and a needle holder for my knitting needles. Of course, these things don't look polished and perfect, but the skirt is a piece of work I am especially proud of and find to be pretty damn good for a first try. The needle holder has its shortcomings, but it serves my needs and it is made to my specs, so I can't complain. I intend to make more things, considering the fact that like yarn, fabric is something one can become obssessed with, whether there is a project in mind or not, but I am organizing my time accordingly so I can focus on each activity as projects come up, otherwise it's chaos.

All of these activities, of course, make me feel more feminine than I've felt since I turned 10, when my princess dreams began to fade and the girls I was thrown in the midst of didn't share my love of fairytales and princesses. My girly disposition has resurfaced after lying dormant for entirely too long and I am diffusing it through activities that I associate with femininity. Of course there are plenty of men who knit, crochet and sew... nowhere is that more obvious than the abundance of men's names sewn to designer clothing labels. I don't want my written perception of femininity to act as a springboard for a long-winded discussion/debate about how society has wrong misinterpretations about gender roles, blah blah blah. I am simply stating that as a little girl I adored princesses, the color pink and wanted nothing more than to be a homemaker who would do all the things that a homemaker would do, and to me, that includes knitting, crocheting and sewing, and to me, is a form of femininity. Of course, that's not the only way to be feminine, but that aspect of this form of femininity is one that is the closest to my own idea of that characteristic. If another woman feels more feminine changing a tire or moving furniture... power to her, but that's not my own idea of femininity.

Going back to one of my favorite pastimes, reading, I am reading a wonderful book. The significance of this book is quite large, not only because it's a good book, but because of the subject matter. A People's History of Science. Miners, Midwives, and "Low Mechanicks", by Clifford D. Conner is the book that has hooked me and mesmerized me since I started reading it a few days ago. It is just what the title suggests, a history of how ordinary people shaped what we today consider an exclusive body of knowledge that only the academic and professional elite get to participate in. The idea that some people believe we are smarter today than our counterparts were hundreds and thousands of years ago is total and utter bologne. I don't think we're completely stupid nowadays, but we certainly have things easier than those who lived in the stone age and advanced to the bronze, then iron ages. I mean, those people had to figure stuff out completely with their brains, bare hands and sometimes their entire bodies. Just think of how many people had to die before it was common knowledge that a plant, for instance, was poison. What this book does is shine a light on how science was a means for survival, not just something to be practiced in a lab by people in white coats and latex gloves. I'm only on chapter two and I feel so much more enlightened about this subject, I can't imagine how my mind and ideas will expand once I read all 500 pages of this gem.

All in all, I am one happy woman with my reading, writing, knitting, crocheting and sewing. Now, if I could just practice all these things and travel the world, I think I could die happy and completely satisfied. Until next time, which could be God knows when!